Post Offices: Closures and Franchises

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's definition is of a public consultation; and what parts of the closure and franchising of Crown post offices his Department plans to consult on.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices play in communities and for small businesses across the UK. This is why the Government committed to safeguard the post office network and protect existing rural services. The overall number of post offices across the UK remains at its most stable in decades with over 11,500 branches thanks to significant Government investment of over £2 billion since 2010.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. Therefore, the Government does not consult on the franchising programme as this is an operational matter for the Post Office. For any branches that are relocating, the Post Office will conduct a six-week local public consultation in line with its ‘principles of community engagement in changes to the Post Office network’ agreed with Citizens Advice.

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